Chris and Amber Cruise made unique Christmas gifts for their veteran fathers. The Cruises wanted their fathers to be able to display their pride for America in their homes. The unique gift, American flags made from re-purposed bourbon barrels, received great feedback. The Cruises began to have numerous individuals desiring their unique gift, so they decided to create Cruise Customs.
Chris is a veteran who served in the 82nd Airborne Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Amber is from Kentucky. The couple decided to combine their pasts to create a patriotic product. They created American flags from re-purposed Kentucky bourbon barrels. The couple wanted every flag to be individually made with the customer in mind so their clients can show their own stories of patriotism.
The Cruises use various technologies to provide personal touches to their flags, such as laser etching for logos on the stripes of the flag or in the field of stars.
Cruise Customs would like to benefit veterans so it provides a transition place for veterans to work. Chris and Amber want to give back to the veteran and first responder communities so these individuals can successfully transition into a new future. Chris recalls his own struggles after his tour ended and he would like to give a form of support to his fellow veterans and first responders. Chris believes woodworking is therapeutic for veterans with anxiety and PTSD so those veterans can feel they have created something of real significance. He would like to repurpose the bourbon barrels into a new work of art, just as he hopes to provide veterans with a place to transition into their new great purpose.
“We know that making American flags for patriots and veterans is meaningful for the craftsmen that create these works of art.”